Why didn’t my student get into an elite school?

In an ideal world, students would be accepted to their schools of choice if they had good grades, clear goals and a well-polished admissions essay. Unfortunately, there are many factors at play in the increasingly competitive world of higher education, and qualified students may still face rejection when they apply to elite, big name schools. It is helpful for parents and students to recognize that a college rejection may not necessarily be a reflection of aptitude or skills. There are always new opportunities to seek to get an excellent education.

Understanding the causes of rejection

One of the words you may hear frequently when speaking of college rejection is “hooks,” which are often uncontrollable assets that make certain students more appealing to a big name school. A hook may be a student’s athletic prowess or other non-academic credential, or it could be related to a student’s legacy status. For example, students who are in their family’s first generation to attend college may be considered above those who are not. Alternatively, a student may be overlooked because he or she did not have family connections in a certain school. Because these reasons are so influential in college admissions, students should not take rejection personally—especially if they were admitted to other schools on their list.

Coping with the reality of college choices

Some students may be under the impression that a degree from an elite institution is required for career success. However, many of the country’s leaders and top-earning CEOs earned their degrees from state schools or smaller private institutions.

For tips on applying to colleges and making the right decision for your education, visit College Planners of America. You can explore their services online or call 630-971-2300 to schedule a visit with a college planning professional. 

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